The 2021 NFL Draft is still over a week away, but one NFL analyst is already looking ahead to 2022's top prospects.
Unlike this year's draft class, 2022 is projected to be light on elite quarterback prospects. Instead, the 2022 NFL Draft will probably be top-heavy on elite defensive players.
Right now, NFL analyst Gil Brandt believes Oregon edge-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is the No. 1 prospect in the 2022 draft class. The former five-star recruit draws comparisons to Von Miller, and has lived up to the hype during his time in Eugene. He's poised to have his best season yet later this fall.
Behind Thibodeaux lands two secondary players in Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and LSU cornerback Derek Stingley. USC defensive end Drake Jackson and North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell round out the rest of the top-five.
Chances are Sam Howell rises to the top of the draft board by next year, considering how teams weigh certain positions. The North Carolina star has been excellent during his two years with the Tar Heels. With a strong season later this fall, Howell will improve his stock.
Another quarterback to consider for the 2022 NFL Draft is Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler. The Sooners quarterback emerged as a potential superstar late in the 2020 season. The dual-threat is electric, and if he becomes more polished in the pocket he could end up being a top-five pick.
Next year's class is top-heavy with defensive players. But per usual, quarterbacks will be the talk of the event.